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Computers at the point of learning

Written by David on September 24th, 2010.      0 comments

In an earlier post I quoted the “Aha!” moment of one of the teachers that I work with.  She has put the computers at the point of learning and in her case this means on the desks where the student sit in her class.  This is a direct response to the kind argument that David Jakes makes in his slide show which I featured in a June post.  The feed back from Maureen is that this simple act of moving the computers from the isolation point of the wall at the back of the room to where the students sit has had an immediate and dramatic effect upon the students’ learning and engagement with the tasks set.  The images below demonstrate how this is working in Maureen’s class.  Maureen has now requested from me the e-learning planning templates that I have developed in order that she can better plan to integrate a wider spectrum of  meaningful e-learning interventions into her term 4 planning.  I for one can not wait to get back to her class to see how her students are flourishing under their new layout.




Learners as teachers, teachers as learners

Written by David on September 23rd, 2010.      0 comments

I was working at Westmere School today it is a school where e-learning has really taken off in the last year.  I have been working with the team for about 18 months now and in this school you do not just see isolated pockets of e-learning passion, it is rapidly seeping its tendrils into every aspect of teacher planning and into every class of the school, even the SMT are experimenting with social media as an effective communication tool.  The school vision for e-learning states that:

“By 2012 Westmere School will project a philosophy and school culture of e-learning from the front door to the back gate.”

They want you to know from the moment you cross the threshold, something special is happening in school.  Today a great leap was made towards that goal.  I have been working with Mel all the time that I have been associated with the school and I have highlighted her great work before, you can see her e-learning innovations on her class wiki http://room14discovery.wikispaces.com Today Mel invited parents and grandparents into her year 1-2 class.  Nothing unusual here, parents in class is normal.  The difference here is that they were coming to learn.  The students were going to teach their parents and grandparents how to use wikis, customise their computers, use Pivot Stick figure animator, Photostory3 and more.  It was very powerful to watch and it was very empowering for the children.  They were witnessing life long learning, the parents were engaged wanting to know about these tools and where to get them from.  The students wanted the parents to know particularly about how to add content to the wiki as this has become a central plank of the student’s learning environment and they want their parents to be part of it, to engage with it.  The embeded video shows the students in action, the audio quality is not good, the video was taken on my iPhone and the student voices were not strong, but the visuals tell the storyeloquently enough.  These students are in charge of their computers and software and are empowered by it, empowered enough to be effective teachers.  Long may this role reversal continue to be valued at Westmere, it was powerful stuff.




Innovation in the classroom

Written by David on September 8th, 2010.      0 comments

This is why I love what I do. The following quote is a direct copy of an e-mail sent to me today from a teacher whom I worked with yesterday.

After talking to you yesterday, this morning I have changed my desk configuration of each group of 4 students to have access to a computer at the end of their desks, AMAZING, students immediately started working collaboratively, sharing ideas and recording their ideas ( see our wiki- I wonder questions about the Christchurch earthquake). We then put this immediately onto wiki.
My management of the class has immediately changed, I know longer need timetables of when they will get their turn- as they manage that as a group, I am also thinking of more ways to use the computers in a collaborative way.
Thanks for the discussion always is refreshing and stimulating.

I describe myself as a change agent, I put ideas in front of talented and creative teachers.  I make the case for change, they interpret those ideas and act upon them. The subsequent actions of the teachers then stimulates children.  They start to engage at a different level, they think deeper, they find the work authentic and relevant.

In this particular case all a teacher has done is move the furniture, just like David Jakes illustrates in his presentation that I featured in an earlier post, suggests. You can see the results of this change on the class wiki and I am sure there will be more evidence as the days and weeks unfold. http://2010pvsrm04.wikispaces.com/Topic


David has been a specialist in the field of elearning for over 12 years. He has presented on elearning at conferences in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. His consultancy work includes education and business clients. READ MORE


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